That Old Black Magic
In, smash, grab, out. Max wiped sweat from his forehead and crouched in front of the door,
ignoring the way the rickety porch creaked under his weight. He
studied the lock in front of him with professional curiosity, then
grinned. Easiest job ever.
Max didn’t usually jinx
himself so early in the game, but this wasn’t his usual gig.
Tracking down black magic users and demon worshipers gave him one
hell of a rush—not to mention a decent paycheck—but it
did make basic recovery jobs like this boring in comparison.
He could have twisted the doorknob
hard enough to pop the lock—maybe even without his shapeshifter strength—but he pulled out a slim set of lock
picks instead. Might as
well get some practice.
Of course, the lock didn’t
offer that much of a challenge, since it was so outdated he probably could have
picked it with his belt buckle. In the dark. He felt a tiny jolt of
magic when he touched it the first time, and the amulet around his
neck warmed slightly. Whatever magical protections the neurotic and
paranoid owner of this house had put in place where easily overcome
by the magical firepower his client had provided him with.
The lock clicked within five seconds, and Max almost sighed. So
much for excitement. He
found himself half hoping the wizard would come back while he was
pawing through his belongings, just to liven things up a bit.
“ Don’t be an idiot,”
he muttered as he rose to his feet again. He slipped the lock picks
into his back pocket and reached for the door. “In, smash,
The door swung open and he found
himself facing the barrel of a handgun. The gun was connected to a
pair of pale, delicate hands, which his gaze followed to a pair of
dainty wrists, sleekly muscled arms, and a body—
Oh hell, what a body.
“ Smash and grab,” the
woman echoed as one eyebrow curved up in a perfect arch. “That
sounds original. Don’t suppose it’s the television you’re
Max blinked. Stupidly. He jerked his
gaze back up past her gorgeous hips—and breasts—and
studied her face again. Full lips, hazel eyes staring at him with
complete disdain from beneath the fall of dark brown hair. He could
hear her heartbeat, cool and steady, just like the hand holding that
The minute he dragged his brain out
of his pants, he knew exactly who he was dealing with. “Little
Polly Cassidy. Your legend paints you as taller.” And
says absolutely nothing about how fucking hot you are.
She laughed, the sound entirely too
refined for someone wearing low-riding cargo pants and a black tank
top. “ Legend ?
You do know how to flatter a girl.” Her hips rocked gently as
she took a single step away from him. “Hands. Up.”
A bullet probably wouldn’t
kill him unless she put it between his eyes, but he wasn’t sure
he wanted to chance it. Not this far into the Louisiana bayou. Max
rolled his eyes and lifted his hands carefully above his head. “Don’t
be too flattered, sweetheart. I only know who you are because I have
a habit of killing your evil son-of-a-bitch clients.”
“ That’s bad for repeat
business,” she observed blandly. “What’d they ever
do to you? No, let me guess.” She smiled, the slow, sultry
expression sending another stab of heat through him. “An
If only. Between the danger and the
heat caused by the wicked curl of her lips, he was already rock hard
and distracted as hell. “Not a big fan of people who use magic
for evil, darling. You make big bucks helping them, I make big bucks
putting them down. How do you sleep at night?”
There was nothing refined about her
husky laugh this time. “Like a baby, darling .”
She tilted her head and licked her bottom lip as her gaze raked over
him. “Get lost, and I won’t kill you.”
Hot or not, there were limits. “I don’t think...” A distant rumble caught
his attention, and he narrowed his eyes as he tried to catch the
sound again. A moment later he